Google recently introduced a revised update (Pirate 2.0) to its search algorithm – an anti-piracy measure meant to prevent supposed “pirate” sites from benefiting from search traffic from Google – which has resulted in the popular site financial site, munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) experiencing a 65% drop in search traffic.
The action is in response to the music industry which had taken a rather aggressive approach against Google accusing the search engine of not doing enough to combat software and digital media piracy, and demanding more stringent anti-piracy measures.
The down-ranking apparently affects all those sites that have a relatively high percentage of DMCA takedown requests yet munKNEE.com has never received any such requests related to its site from its web hosting company (a Canadian legal notice-and-notice requirement) let alone even one informal email request from an author or site that contends that its content has been illegally published on the site and requesting its removal.
When Google users search for popular movie, music or software titles in combination with terms such as “download,” “watch” and “torrent”, for example, these sites are demoted. What the key terms being used by munKNEE.com – a financial, economic, investment and gold/silver site – to warrant such action by Google are presently unknown.
Unfortunately, munKNEE.com was caught up in the drag net and, by inference, deemed to be a “pirate” site posting articles that are copyright infringements of the original articles. Such is NOT the case. For the record, every article posted on munKNEE.com clearly identifies the makeup of the article posted as follows:
and provides a link to the original article source and reference to the copyright holder which are over an above the requirements (both the spirit and the law) of the Canadian Copyright Act of 1985 (munKNEE.com is a Canadian domiciled site).
Furthermore, in an effort to be an above board site that it is doing nothing illegal – even in regards to the spirit of the law – munKNEE.com states the following in the fine print at the bottom of every page:
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of financial, economic and investment issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The above copy says, in other words, that if any article is available freely on the open Web without an express permissions statement, it is covered by an implied license to use. The essence of an implied license is that, even though an article does not “expressly” give the user of said information the right to repost or extract excerpts (edited or paraphrased), the law assumes that the original author (i. e. copyright owner) must have intended to give the public (readers/reposters) the right to disseminate their work as long as full attribution was clearly provided.
The above being said, however, munKNEE.com always heeds to specific “requests” (most often in the form of threats of implied legal action) from sites that an article not be copied, saved, printed, rewritten, reposted, redistributed, hyperlinked, their URL used or any of its content referred to in any other article, etc. if such a “request” is clearly stated in association with an article even though it is not legally required to do so according to the Fair Use license. If such a site does not want its words of wisdom widely disseminated or its site’s presence made more widely known munKNEE has no problem in not doing so. There are thousands of other authors and sites that are pleased to receive the additional exposure to their work and content. Indeed, for the record, almost 4,000 articles, written by authors other than the site editor, have been presented on munKNEE.com without complaint by the author or the site in which it was originally posted.
Whenever munKNEE.com takes any of the above actions with articles where it is not specifically requested not to do so munKNEE.com makes a practice of providing the author’s name, web site affiliation, the original title and a link to the original article. Again, there is no attempt to hijack someone elses article as their own. munKNEE.com is anything but a “pirate” site.
See University of Texas Libraries’ Fair use of copyrighted materials, IUPUI’s Fair Use Checklist, UMUC’s Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom, on the Internet and the World Wide Web, University of Minnesota Libraries’ Fair Use Analysis Tool, and the many wonderful statements of Fair Use Best Practices for more detailed requirements that munKNEE.com endeavors to follow.
It is regretful that munKNEE.com has been caught up in this latest blanket action by Google but, as a result, munKNEE.com has implemented some non-content related changes (wording & format) to the way articles are presented on the site. We hope these actions will enable the site to escape the ramifications of Google’s “pirate” designation and permit the site to gain back the tens of thousands of readers now denied access to just the best financial articles available on the internet presented in a manner that permits a fast and easy read.
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